When changing the overall look and feel of your interior, there are basically two options available today; either you install wallpaper, or you paint the wall. A pale and soft-colored room can easily transform into a vividly-colored room with the use of color paints. While a small room can be made to appear larger by using light-colored wallpaper with subtle patterns. Using paints or wallpapers each has their own advantages and disadvantages in terms of ease of application, cost, durability and location. In this article, we will be discussing how to properly choose between the two and what are their differences and similarities.

Initial Preparation and Location

Take into account how long it would take for the wall to be prepared before starting the project. This is especially important to old walls that have existing paint or wallpaper.

Removing existing wallpaper on any wall can be a difficult and tiresome task to perform and would require professional help and right tools in order to be effective. Stripping tools and chemical can be used to do this job but ensure that your wall will not be damaged in the process. For painted walls, the process is easier as you would only need wall putty to cover any imperfections and use paint primer before installing wallpaper or apply new paint color. This process would generally require lesser preparation time than removing wallpaper.

Most wallpaper nowadays is relatively durable but unsuitable to be used in rooms where high humidity level is always present such as kitchen areas and bathrooms. Humidity can easily peel away wallpaper, although it is possible to replace the damaged sections with the same material, the difference would be apparent as the installed paper will have faded appearance as compared to the new one. A complete replacement would be needed to achieve a perfect finish. Using paint would be the most ideal option in these areas as most paints are mould and humidity resistant.

Variety and Durability

Wallpapers and Paints all come in a wide choice of material, design, color and finishes. Wallpapers come in either paper or vinyl finishes while paints are available in different glosses, color and texture. The selection of what kind of design to choose depends on your taste and lifestyle and fortunately, the choices are near endless.

With the advent of modern digital printing, full size wallpapers are now more widely available than ever. Different shades, textures and patterns can now be easily achieved without any added cost. Customized wallpapers with images are also becoming very popular nowadays. Improving the feel of the room can also be altered using wallpaper stripe designs. Horizontal stripes can make a room feel wider while vertical stripes can make the ceiling appear taller. Although achieving the same quality and complexity of design of wallpapers as compared to wall paints is difficult, choosing the perfect shade for your room is easier. If you want minimalistic and easy-to-apply design in your room, wall paints are the better option.

Both materials are quite durable and could withstand areas with high traffic of people. Semi-gloss and gloss paint finishes are known for its durability and are commonly used in wall trims and exterior doors. A painted room would generally need to be repainted and touched-up once every 2-4 years to maintain its color and design Modern wallpapers are also very durable and could easily stand-up to scratches and daily wear and tear especially the ones made from vinyl. It is also easier to clean than paint as you can scrub it extensively without worrying that it might chip and peel away the color.


Paints are generally cheaper at upfront cost than most wallpapers, however wallpapers last longer than paints making it more affordable in the long run. Wallpapers also require professional skills for it to be installed properly while applying paints can be easily learned by anyone. Like anything else, you always get what you pay for; cheaper paints and wallpapers usually do not last long and would cost you more on the long run.

Cheap paints are usually of less quality and opacity that three coats are needed for it to obtain a good finish. If you use cheap paints in your wall, you are basically spending more since you need more coats than normal and end up paying more for the labor.

As for cheap wallpapers, it is more prone to damage due to its low-quality material and thinner surface. Take note that wallpapers require more time and effort in installing than painting the walls; it is ideal to purchase high-quality wallpapers at competitive price to prevent reinstalling them every now and then.